IN SOME aberrant corners of autodom, our analysis car is admired as instantly collectible: The 2020 Toyota Land Cruiser Ancestry Edition ($87,745 MSRP) is a high-spec, all-in riff on the admirable super-ute. Painted atramentous as an anvil, bare of active boards, glammed with LED lamps advanced and rear, and shod with bratty, bronze-anodized BBS wheels, Ancestry Editions are rarer than Ferraris, with U.S. sales in 2020 reportedly bound to a bald 1,200 units. (Note: Toyota has accepted addition accumulation for model-year 2021). Buy one and acquaint your friend.
I’m not abiding how to action the ability that there ability be 1,200 souls out there OCDing on the abyss of their Land Cruiser collection. Seems like a cry for help. I do apperceive that the Land Cruiser 200 alternation has been a admiration of self-similarity for a long, continued time. Currently on its additional facelift in 12 years—but who isn’t?—this affair feels absolutely as I bethink it from about 2008. Aggregate one, aggregate them all, right?
“ Collectible? Meh. It does annihilation to anamnesis the cubistic account or automated abstention of the best coveted archetypal LCs. ”
How could it not change so much? Who larboard this antique of a blow awning navi in the centermost dash? A CD player? For reelz? How is it possible—seriously, alike technically feasible—that our tester achieves absolutely the aforementioned ammunition abridgement (13/17 mpg, city/highway) as the ones I collection way aback then?
Oh, right. Still application the boiler allowance is Toyota’s chic and polished, artlessly aspirated 5.7-liter DOHC V8, churning at up to 381 hp (at 5,600 rpm) and 401 lb-ft of torque (at 3,600 rpm). These ethics get sluiced through a multi-modal eight-speed automatic, two-speed alteration case, electrohydraulic limited-slip/locking centermost differential, with terrain-adaptive logic, afore accession at torque-sensing advanced and rear differentials. Seen it.
But down-voting the Land Cruiser due to its arrested development misses the point. LC buyers adopt this accompaniment of evolution, the acquiescently dispositioned bristling behemothic they accept appear to love. Ponderous in abutting quarters, sure, and apathetic on the highway, the Land Cruiser is additionally nonetheless strong, balmy and fuzzy, and about unstoppable. With a fording abyss of 27.55 inches and a appear best coffer bend of 42 degrees, the LC’s accommodation for burning avowal provides accord of apperception that is a affluence all its own. Hannibal had elephants and attending what happened.
But, like added absorbing megafauna of the Petroleum Era—16-cylinder Bugattis, 12-cylinder Bentleys—the V8-powered LC is destined for extinction. It cannot be redesigned, cannot be gene-spliced with added able Toyota articles after accident its different gestalt, which to me depends on its radical, astern mass: an official 5,715 pounds aural analogously bunched breadth of 194.9 inches. That’s about as close as a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen. Drink in the thickness.
Why so heavy? Like the G-Wagen, the 200 uses a belts-and-braces structural design, if you will, accumulation a able animate unit-body with a 10-crossmember ladder frame, undergirded with full-frontal drift plates (8.9 inches arena clearance). Designed to booty a anguish off-road, the ironmongery is additionally the antecedent of these machines’ boundless clarification on-road, acting like a accumulation damper at the amount of the mechanism—absorbing alley harshness, powertrain vibrations, annoy noise, and different NVH from A-pillars to tailpipes.
Those were airy days, weren’t they? The Land Cruiser proves it is accessible to architect a badly able affluence SUV/armored car that will alive forever, if engineers aboriginal abdicate any angle of abbreviation agent weight or convalescent mileage/emissions.
My analysis drive aftermost anniversary included a ancestors cruise to the Blue Ridge Mountains, with the barter loaded with two adults, three teens, two dogs, with about 150 pounds of baggage in a roof-mounted Yakima cage. Mostly girls’ clothes. On our outbound trip, our tester’s boilerplate empiric breadth sank into the 12-mpg range. At that amount the LC can alone go about 300 afar amid fill-ups. For an chance agent the LC is decidedly short-legged.
At 80 mph, the absolutely loaded LC tears a huge, ragged aperture in the air. Yet decidedly little wind babble alcove the cabin. The abiding barrage of the annoy lugs accomplished my aerial as a abating amber noise. Like its sister car, the Lexus LX 570, the LC is plumped with noise-canceling materials, doors seals, and glazing.
Nor should one apprehend aloof any three-ton SUV on mud snow tires to about-face and clue so obediently, alike on paved abundance switchbacks. For a big, alpine machine, the LC’s council acknowledgment is absolute and precise, with medium-heavy accomplishment at the caster and affluence of leverage. The absolute coil-spring abeyance contains anatomy cycle and added brief armament with adaptable authority.
With the anatomy so accurately abstemious down, the capital antecedent of animation in the LC’s ride is its M S tires. Thus the LC’s audibly aeriform road-holding character, like cutting the avalanche in a elastic bulk with a piano aboard.
Collectible? Meh. One irony of the final-form LC is that it does annihilation to anamnesis the cubistic account or automated abstention of the best coveted archetypal LCs, afore they got soft. In fact, abundant of the enthusiast action seems to be in professionally congenital resto-mods of best models. For about the aforementioned money as our tester, for example, you could accept acquired the 1974 FJ55 base wagon that awash on bringatrailer.com in February. Under the awning was a abominable 5.7-liter pushrod V8, accumulated with a four-speed automated transmission, two-speed alteration case, and manually locking advanced hubs. Proper.
In the interests of assurance and real-world drivability, added mods included an advancement to four-wheel disc brakes, as able-bodied as ability council and air conditioning. This frame-off apology additionally included a absolutely powder-coated chassis, two-tone paint, as able-bodied as new glass, rubber, seals and bumpers.
Now that’s ancestry done right.
Base Price $87,745
Engine and Powertrain Artlessly aspirated 5.7-liter DOHC V8 with capricious valve timing; eight-speed automated transmission; full-time four-wheel drive with electronically locking centermost differential
Power/Torque 381 hp at 5,600 rpm/401 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm
Length/Height/Width/Wheelbase 194.9/74.0/77.95/112.2 inches
Curb Weight 5,715 pounds
Towing 8,100 pounds
GVWR 7,385 pounds
EPA Ammunition Abridgement 13/17 mpg, city/highway
Cargo Accommodation 82.8/41.4/16.1 inches (1st-/2nd-/3rd-row folded)
Write to Dan Neil at [email protected]
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